Dr. Alisa Cross is urging that Oklahoma reshape its laws on children wearing seat belts. As it currently stands, the law in the Sooner State allows children older than eight to ride without a seatbelt.
Cross has had too much experience in dealing with the aftermath of this, in the opinions of many, archaic piece of legislation. She laments having to see so many children rushed to emergency rooms, suffering a grotesque array of injuries.
Fatalities are unfortunately common as well, with some being so grizzly that medical staff covers the bodies before their parents get to see them. And Cross believes that these tragedies are preventable through concrete legislative action.
Oklahoma remains the sole state to still have the aforementioned law in effect. Other states that altered their legislation, meanwhile, have seen fewer of these mournful incidents. Oklahoma ranks 40th in the number of children fatalities from vehicle crashes.
John Whetsel, a former OKC sheriff, can also attest to the horrific prospect of losing a child due to lax legislation. He said that not a single life more need perish because of obsolete laws. Along with other organizations, including Safe Kids Oklahoma and AAA, he will join in the push to modernize this law.
Oklahoma State Senate members took this legislation under consideration for change on Monday. Sen. Carri Hicks demanded a study on car accident children fatalities. Oklahoma saw 29 children die this way in 2018.